Renovating your rental property can not only increase the value of your property but also increase potential future revenues. As a real estate investor, you want to be able to attract long-term, stable renters who pay their rent on time. Making some cost-effective upgrades and renovations to your rental property can entice reliable renters who are willing to pay more money for modern features.

1. Update the curb appeal

Spending a little money on some fixtures like more modern outdoor lighting, updated house numbers, and landscaping can go a long way. The exterior is the first impression of a potential tenant and can say a lot about what is on the inside. You may want to consider fixing any cracks in the concrete and ensuring that the grass is green, or better yet install some drought-tolerant plants in lieu of grass or thirsty plants that require a lot of water. In the long run, drought-resistant plants can save money, water, and time. Particularly, if you are paying for the gardening services and pay water as many California landlords do. Keeping your water and gardening costs to a minimum, while still providing aesthetically beautiful foliage around the property will go a long way in improving curb appeal.

Make sure to install some lighting around the outside. Home Depot, Lowes, and even your local hardware stores all typically carry affordable, yet up-to-date outdoor lighting fixtures. Just a few tweaks to improving the look outside can make a big impact.

2. Remodel the Bathroom

Most renters today who are looking to pay a bit more in rent, want to get some bang for their buck, and this extends to bathrooms. High-income earning Millennials accounted for 39% of all rental applications in 2021. (NYTIMES)  In a market where Millennials are still renting by the droves (with that number even higher in California) it is prudent to keep up with the trends and make sure your rental property can drive the largest returns possible. Invest the money on choosing an up-to-date vanity that holds a good amount of storage with minimal maintenance and upkeep required. If the vanity still holds promise, resurfacing the cabinets is a great way to update the look on a budget. When in doubt go with whites to keep things looking fresh and bright.

3. Kitchen Renovations

Much like buyers, renters don’t want outdated kitchens with old fixtures and appliances. The cabinetry can oftentimes be refaced to create a more modern aesthetic, saving money while still renovating the overall look. Keeping neutral colors that long-term renters can visualize their own style in is key. You may want to consider updating the countertops with low-maintenance material that will last over time. Avoid using tile or laminate as they are not only outdated but not particularly durable or easy to keep clean. Lastly, appliances can really show how old they are because they get so much wear and tear over the years. Make sure that you find some good deals on appliances that match each other and look modern without necessarily being the more expensive options. You want to make sure you get enough bang for your buck.

4. Install vinyl wood plank flooring

If your rental property still proudly boasts some old carpeting or dated flooring, installing some vinyl wood plank flooring throughout the home will not only add to your property value but also save you money in the long run as they are extremely durable. According to Consumer Reports, “This type of flooring is especially good at fending off wear, dents, scratches, discoloration from sunlight, and stains.” There are great options that are just like real wood and provide the overall remodeled look renters are after.

5. Paint the interior & update the lighting

Fresh paint in bright neutral colors can make the space feel clean and fresh while keeping it neutral enough that potential renter’s personal color schemes and décor can fit into the property easily. Switching out old interior light fixtures and fans will also bring the property up-to-date and go a long way in ensuring potential renters can see themselves making a home in your investment property.

Make sure to check out the comps in the area to ensure that you keep your renovation budget in line with the current rental market. There are a lot of ways to save on renovations, but there are also a lot of ways to blow a budget. Also, be sure to check out Pivotal Capital Group’s Loan Types (Link to and find out why a Rental Rehab loan might be right for you!